Maybe you’ve seen the recent news headlines about the finding that grain-free dog foods have been linked to heart problems?
Let’s consider why grain-free foods came into demand in the first place. Our dogs and cats have stepped into the obesity & diabetes crisis in lock-step with us. People care deeply about their pets’ health, often more than their own health. That’s why there has been a consumer-driven shift away from grain in the pet food market as people have become more aware of the problems with grain in pet food. But will a switch to grain-free kibble be enough to ensure your pet has a healthy diet? Definitely not, and this is a perfect example of how substituting one inferior food source for another isn’t solving a problem so much as creating a different one.
Kibble is convenient. I supplement my cat’s food with a tiny bit of high-quality primal-friendly kibble. But regularly feeding kibble as the foundation of diet can never give our pets the nutrition they need to be healthy.
The industrialization of our food supply has made grains and legumes the foundation of diet for both human food and pet kibble. The food industry loves these plant-constituents because they are cheap and abundant and shelf-stable. And they have worked hard to convince us that this “plant-based” diet is the only way to be healthy. That’s a profitable message.
- are too high in carbohydrates
- are nutrient-poor
- contain plant-toxins (e.g., lectins, phytates, saponins) that cause metabolic chaos and chronic disease
- derange appetite and cause over-eating
- are highly genetically modified and sprayed
- are agricultural juggernauts destroying the planet’s natural ecosystems
They also tend to be heavily processed, which makes matters even worse. When these foods are in the diet they also have a displacing effect, whereby we eat less of the nutrient-dense foods we actually need to thrive, such as meat, eggs, and organ meats.
It just isn’t in our makings to live on diet of grass-seed, whether we are a dog, cat, or human. We all need a diet based on animal proteins and fats from wild or properly raised animals. Dogs and humans are omnivores and benefit from added vegetables and a tiny bit of fruit. Cats are carnivores (they need meat) and should never be fed a plant-based diet. Also, raw is better for the meat we feed our pets.
Pet food manufacturers simply cannot manufacture a dry kibble with shelf-life using healthy ancestral foods.
Watch Veterinarian Dr. Karen Becker & Rodney Habib interview Cardiologist Dr. Steven Gundry in this Facebook live episode about why plant toxins in legumes may be part of what’s behind these heart problems in dogs fed grain-free kibble. Dr. Gundry is a doctor who worked in the conventional medical system who is awakening to the principles of ancestral health. He has written a book about plant toxins, with a focus on lectins, titled The Plant Paradox.
We all need to eat in the way that is true to our makings.